First up, I know I’ve talked about this place, Happy & Hale here before on the blog, but I have to sing its praises once again.
Lots of changes going round in the Samples household, and as a result, I’ve had to work really really hard to stay on track with a decent diet and stuff. More on that later.
But I was really in a rush on Tuesday to get a good lunch in that didn’t involve anything gross, anything friend, and was quick, and the first thought was Happy & Hale.
I did my usual, a quinoa bowl (without the onions) and here was the finished product.
I’ve seen Katherine, the nutritionist here, a few times, and she is highly encouraging of incorporating lots and lots of color in each meal. This meal TOTALLY has it. I mean, it’s gorgeous to look at. Unfortunately for me, this was a lot of fiber, so I had to watch the fiber at dinner and do something that was a little less psyllium-y. TMI.
Valentine’s Day Plans.
I think this is the first V-Day that we don’t have something special planned, but I really think I’m okay with that.
In years past, we’ve always done dinner around Valentine’s, and given little gifts, but nothing super major. This year, despite my efforts to get to bed much, much earlier than I have, I still am battling some fatigue as I adjust to earlier start times, and we’re looking forward to dinner in and making our way around Lake Johnson that day. It’s boring, but it works for us.
One thing I will ask my hubby really really nicely for is a mani/pedi. That’s still one of my favorite treats in the world. I’ll happily oblige with his favorite treats (probably a trip to Harbor Freight to buy more things to put in the shed).
One really neat thing about North Carolina and southward. When it snows (or ices) here, everyone (rightfully) freaks out, and sometimes, we get a snow day!
Let me back up. If you’re one of those super obnoxious people who’s like “I live in New York and we don’t freak out over a few inches of ice/snow, I want to say this to you.
Congratulations. You are better than people in the South. You are smarter, and more wonderful, and your handling of snow and ice is absolutely more appropriate, making you superior to our kind. Feel good? Okay. Annnd before you cuss me out in the comments, I’m a native New Yorker who very much enjoys my snow days. I’ll take ’em!
Throughout last week, we got reports of a weather event by the end of the week, but we weren’t really sure what it was. Every since Snowpocalypse ’14, where we actually did handle significant snowfall pretty poorly, resulting in folks be stranded on the roads for 6+ hours, I think we’ve done a better job of heeding predictions, and dismissing folks from school/work in a fashion that doesn’t put folks at risk for accidents and being stuck on the road on account of work or school.
So as the reports came in, we listened, and finally, on Thursday evening, I got up with my boss’s boss (boss was pushing off to go on vacation), and we agreed that she would contact us after the branch closed with some updates. But by about 8pm, the area’s public school system had already called school, so that was a decent sign to us that we needed to assess for the morning. We decided to close for at least the early morning.
When we woke up on Friday, there was a light dusting with a layer of ice over it, and it was pretty clear that it made no sense to, at least from my end, require instructors to come in when we could be putting them at risk. We decided to close on Friday based on deteriorating conditions.
Wanna know what I did all day?
Sent a few emails.
Went to Food Lion to pick up a few things that we could eat for dinner.
Watched Bob’s Burgers on Netflix.
Did not run 😦 (which I was kind of bummed about)
Saturday was very much of the same except the ice layer was thicker. We had a few guests since power was out at my brother’s and we sort of hunkered down while the lights and heat flickered.
Again, I didn’t get a chance to work out, and I’m really bummed about that. I’m hoping to sneak into the gym for a little while for a short run followed by some time on the bike so my body doesn’t forget what fitness is, and I don’t die when I teach my classes next week. Eesh!
So, what’s the weather at your house like? Let me know if it’s warm, cold, freezing, and tell me if you’re enjoying any time off of work!
I’ve talked about it here, what I do for work. My work as Group Fitness Director is awesome. I think one of the coolest things about the work, besides getting to teach a ton of group fitness classes…
…is that no two days are the same. And I think when I “became an adult,” a phrase I really use loosely, one of my biggest fears was that I would get sucked into a profession, where I was doing the same thing every single day. The thought of doing something that wouldn’t allow me to be on my feet or would be the same drudgery day in and day out really scared me, and thinking back, it’s something that has scared me since childhood. I distinctly remember being in high school, where the most variety we had was A-day B-Day scheduling, being terrified that this was what real life might be like. Thankfully, years later, the Y presented itself as an amazing opportunity, and it was clear that no two days were the same.
Which is mostly really cool.
Tonight, I closed the building, which all directors do once a week. I don’t mind, and usually, instead of sitting in front of my laptop the entire night, I run around, doing little projects or putting out little fires. So tonight was no different. I set up the prenatal yoga class, tore it down, visited the Zumba, Vinyasa, and Cycle classes, and checked on the kid downstairs who came in last minute for us.
Close to closing though, we ran into a rather large snafu. Somewhere along the way, someone gave a member the wrong keys, and the member took the keys home, leaving another member with the wrong keys.
Launch full-blown investigation.
From the wrong keys, I was able to gather that the member was actually a member of a Y in Greater Charlotte. I called the Siskey YMCA and begged for them to call the members emergency contact based on the info I gave them. They did. His parents confirmed that those were their son’s keys, and gave me their blessing to call him. I called, we figured out that he had the wrong keys, and in a snap-decision judgement, I took off, went to the members home, and swapped out the keys.
To say that today wasn’t dull is the understatement of the entire century. Here’s to tomorrow being the most boring, mundane, and dull day January 2016 has ever seen.
You really never know where teaching and fitness is going to take you, right? I was a total slob kabob in college, and I blink, it’s like 5 years later, and I’m in love with what I do.
Which brings me to this.
A few months back, I was invited to speak at St. Mary’s School, an all-girls boarding school here in Raleigh. It’s so interesting. The woman who invited me to speak has taken a lot of my pump classes, and felt like I would be great to speak to the girls as a “woman in fitness”. What she didn’t know asking me is that, one, that I love working with that age group (high schoolers), and I really gravitated toward this group at camp. I still get Seventeen Magazine, am obsessed with Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, and am routinely mistaken for about 10 years younger than I am. I hope that is a compliment to my skin, and NOT evident of what people think of my maturity level. Ugh.
But anyways, all that is to say, I relate to this group really really well, and I’m so, so excited to speak to them, but I’m also 100% freaked out at the fact that someone would want me to speak to their kids.
I’m not sure what to say. I drink. I shower as little as society will allow. I would prefer to spend all my time in a bikini if it is over 80 degrees. I swear. Like a lot. And I’m not sure exactly why Caroline thought of me to speak to the girls. But I’m honored. And I hope I say the right things, the things that high school girls need to hear.
What DO high school girls need to hear?
What would I have wanted to hear in high school?
Always bring a sweater. You will always be cold.
Start taking care of your body NOW. Don’t let things creep up on you. When you get to college, your mom will not be there to remind you to balance your meals. BALANCE YOUR MEALS. That means eat something not fried for breakfast. Eat something sensible for lunch. Sushi or a salad works. Same goes for dinner. Do at least 20-30 minutes of activity today. You start that shit early, and you will be set.
Watch the news when you get ready for school/work. You don’t want to be that idiot that knows nothing when folks are talking. Don’t just rely on fake Facebook articles to keep yourself informed.
Do something that makes you laugh every single day.
I struggle with this one. Get up early and do something. Get to bed at a reasonable time. Again, I struggle with this one but I have never ever regretted getting up early to get stuff done.
If you’re interested in it, go for it. Just do it. Don’t let your boyfriend, or your mom, or your friends talk you out of anything you have in your mind!
**So update alert. I wrote this post prior to going out to school. I went to school to speak to the girls on Tuesday, and it was an absolutely amazing, incredible experience, and I definitely, definitely would LOVE to do it again.
The engagement started with me getting a chance to see St. Mary’s School, a girls boarding AND day school here in Raleigh, NC. The campus was really pretty, and reminded me of college. Caroline, who had arranged for us to be there met me along with some students who were enjoying lunch. I grabbed lunch in their dining hall, which was really nice, and included a painted portrait of Kylie Jenner, which I totally appreciated.
Caroline set me, and the three other women on the panel up in the performance hall, and we got started by introducing ourselves, what we did, and a little reason why we were sitting on the panel. The women were great. One was a career counselor. Another, a director of a non-profit that paired horses with kids who had faced trauma, and still another directed at a local art gallery here in Raleigh.
And then there was me.
When it came my turn to introduce myself, I did what I do best, and I had everyone spread out and lead them through a movement and breathing exercise.
The girls, extremely impressive girls, asked wonderful questions, ans were highly engaged. They were poised, beautiful, and confident, and I felt absolutely honored to be in their presence. After the session, I got a chance to hug some of the girls and talk to them, and I was, and still am blown away by what they did.
I would love to guest speak once again, and hope I brought to the girls, a fraction of the joy they brought me on Tuesday.
And I feel like I haven’t gotten a single friggin productive thing done all week. I keep thinking that if I pray hard enough, that God will magically grant me an extra like 8 or 9 hours and that I will be able to catch up on all the shit that I keep meaning to get to, but still manage to get pushed to the next day.
But I digress.
So I started off last weekend actually managing to squeeze a really short 3-miler in before I headed in to Fleet Feet to help them out for a shift. That’s always really nice to do because you sort of get to socialize and still keep on top of new shoe trends and stuff, and it’s only occasional. The extra little surprise paycheck also doesn’t hurt 🙂
Saturday night, I put in work on the August schedule for the Y, and I worked for a really good chunk of time since I knew that I would be in late on Monday While I worked, my husband also worked on some stuff, so it was a relatively quiet Saturday night.
Sunday morning, I woke up early for 6 trail miles for a group I’m starting to get friendly with. I tested a Hoka. I’ve been curious about that brand since my knee started acting up, and I know the brand has really grown with trail and ultra runners. Overall, the shoe felt good, but I’m still having a really hard time with the way the shoe looks, so I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to make a jump. I do know, however, that though I’ve been a Brooks girl for a good while here, I’m not sure I’m in love with the Glycerin as much as I have been the past few years, and that means that I may have to find something as Chicago gets closer and closer.
So the run was 6 hilly miles in the state park. It started off well enough. I was keeping up, not feeling terribly pain in my knee, and enjoying some conversation with some of the folks in the group, as we wound our way on single-track trail. And then, BAM. I ran smack-dab into a bee that stung me on the thigh.
Amy, who was cruising right in front of me, was really worried, but I assured her I was fine and that we should keep cruising. There wasn’t a whole lot we could do anyways, since we were a few miles out already, so I just focused on taking care of it later. Toward 5 miles, when I felt that our direction was shifting back up toward civilization, I was feeling food, caboosing our group, and suddenly, I missed have kicked a rock or something, and down, down I went. And hard.
“SOMEONE FELL, SOMEONE FULL, RUNNER DOWN!”
I was embarrassed, and simultaneously on the ground, and I didn’t want to hold the group up. So I hopped up, and kept moving, and shook off the pain in my left knee, willing the adrenaline to take care of it.
A few days out, and the knee is sore, and I keep having to scratch my thigh, which makes me look like I’m scratching my crotch. I’m just a mess.
Shania Twain + Gavin DeGraw
So after the run, and after I was able to convince my husband to take me to Waffle House for a disgustingly awesome post-run breakfast, I made a quick run to Charlotte because Shania Twain was playing, and Gavin DeGraw was opening for her.
Now in review, you’ve got to know that Gavin DeGraw is up there as one of my favorite singers in the entire world. He’s ridiculously talented and he told me I was pretty like 5 years ago. Which is really saying something, because I wasn’t really like, in peak condition 5 years ago.
I also tried to convince him, via Twitter, to come up to our box, but he did not oblige. I’m still a fan though. He opened with Soldier, and at one point, hopped the security barrier, and just sort of meandered about the area.
Shania, now. She was a total peach. I’m not a huge country fan, but she was awesome. She sounded good, she was very pretty, and seemed very personable. But to be fair, she’s Canadian, and I’ve never met a Canadian that I was like, “hey, you’re just an asshole.” Not even Justin Bieber. He, at the very least, has provided me with a lot of years of entertainment.
I talked about my reasoning for a sober June here.
I’ve been the Annie in the airplane scene plenty of times. I’m just really over it.
But, as fate would have it, no sooner did I utter the words Sober June, did the universe decide to hand me a present in the form or strep throat. From Tuesday morning on, there wasn’t a single ounce of desire for me drink anything really, because it really made my throat hurt, but much less a vodka or something. And I really love vodka.
So my first week hasn’t been bad at all, even though when I was reading comments online, folks who had done no drinking had remarked that social situations were really tough.
So I approached the situation like you would if you were trying to lose weight, and I made a plan for when I knew we’d be out at a bottle shop to see a friend’s band on Friday night. It was a bottle shop, so no liquor, right? Beer. What could I keep in a glass that looked like something so I could avoid the awkward stare at my belly and having to answer questions about my road to recovery? I bought some O’Doul’s, gave it to the bartender, and asked him to keep my glass full.
And no one was anymore the wiser! I was able to socialize, without downing beer after beer, and it was really really nice to wake up on Saturday morning without too much trouble, or without a slight thirsty hangover. A friend also pointed out that I avoided unwanted calories (no drunk eating), which is also a win.
I’m enjoying this – putting myself in slightly uncomfortable situations, and still trying to maintain sobriety is sort of a fun challenge.
Hi lovers! I know it has been a few days, but it was a few well-needed days of rest that I spent with my dad between DC and New Jersey. More on that later.
But I wanted to touch base about something I talked about after last weekend, when my quest to find pho, a Vietnamese soup, was finally somewhat resolved. Also ramen.
So about two years ago, when I was training for my first marathon, I swear (and barely anyone remembers this, so it’s almost unbelievable), that Whole Foods, in their sushi section, had bowls of real ramen, with an egg and everything in it. I ate it religiously as “second lunch” as I was ridiculously hungry during the training cycle, and seemed to do well with the sodium.
Soon after, WF set up a pho station, complete with fresh jalapenos, and I went on the quest to find a bowl of pho and real ramen somewhere in the Triangle.
Saturday morning, after we’d worked at the expo, some of the folks posted some pics from a spot called Pho Pho Pho on Facebook, and the decision was made then, especially after one of the folks there told me that the Sake Sangria was on point. I mean, duh.
So after a short convincing period, Austin and I headed out to Pho Pho Pho on Glenwood, that was so new (about 4 weeks old), that it didn’t really have a sign out front, and I had to rely on an old episode of bar rescue to find it. Totally not joking about that, but that place was a total creepy dump before.
Anyhoo, so we got there, immediately ordered a few drinks, and got to ordering on the menu from this adorable server who had a smile permanently on!
This is what I ended up with – a pho ramen mashup that only cost about $10, but came out in a bowl that was without a doubt large enough for two meals. I ate as much as I could, then poured the rest away for lunch the next day.
My verdict after waiting for like a year or two for some legit pho is that this place is legit. Good soup, good noodles, and great drinks, and I can’t wait to go again. (Seriously, I asked Austin to take me again tomorrow.)
Now, since pho is such an awesome sore throat/replenish your sodium food….what’s your favorite sick food?
I’m sitting on my couch, nursing a beer, and alternately foam rolling my hips (which ALWAYS like to act up when I run long). I’m just smiling when I think back on today.
So I sort of sprang it on you guys last minute, that I was running the Tobacco Road Half Marathon. Quite honestly, I knew I wanted to (and needed to run), but I didn’t even sign up until the very last minute – in part due to the fact that I’m being tight-fisted with cash (I just bought a new car cash), and part because I was just nervous.
So Saturday night, after working most of the day at Fleet Feet Raleigh (which is so damned nice once in a while), I went home, watched TV, and made dinner, fully prepped to take it easy the night before the half. Since Austin wasn’t at home, I did my usual, and started to fall asleep on the couch to a movie, then moved to to boudoir when I woke up around 11:30 or so on the couch.
[Side note: I finally watched Think Like a Lady, Act Like a Man. It was not horrid as I assumed it would be. It was kinda cute, even though that title is problamatic.]
I set my alarm(s) for 4:15, 4:20, 4:30, and 4:40 am, in order to jump in the shower, put a little mascara on, and make sure I had everything I needed together for the race. I figured that wasn’t overkill, and went to sleep, only waking up to say hey to my boo when he got home, and then again when I got a phone call from some friends who were out for St. Patrick’s Day, drinking green beer.
What happened next is straight out of a dark comedy.
I don’t remember my alarms going off. All I know is that I woke up around 5:40, a text came from one of my girls at 5:43ish, and that the race was supposed to start at 7am. This meant I had about 20 minutes to jump in my car, get on the shuttle, get to the start line. My husband, the calming force that he is, remained so sweet.
“Do you want me to drive you? Do I need to get dressed now?”
I was determined. I hopped in the Kia, drove to parking (which I was so late that I didn’t have to pay for), and managed to make it onto the shuttle with two other late people, and do the start line with a few minutes to spare before the start.
I didn’t want to be rude, so though I started way in the back, I only managed to make it up to the 2:30 half marathon pace group, and decided to stay put so I didn’t push folks who’d actually gotten there on time. It wasn’t their fault I was running late, so it’s me who needed to suck it up and expend the extra energy once we started running, to make my way to be up with my group. The weather was nice enough that I only needed a light half-zip, and I noted that this was one of the first races that I didn’t feel like I was dying of hypothermia and shivering at the start.
Off we went!
I trotted along, slowly making my way up, up, up, closer to my pace of about 2 hours. The race was relatively flat, and as I trotted along, listening to my playlist, I saw a few people that I knew. I was feeling good! Still, I worked my way up, and started to settle into an about 9-minute/mile pace.
As you’ll remember, I’ve had stomach issues, so I was a little worried about what that would mean for the day, but some of the girls at work let me try some Huma gel, a gel infused with Chia seeds for natural energy, and I popped one at about 4 miles, and again around 8 or 9, and I felt great – no stomach issues before, during, or even after the race, which has never happened to me.
I cruised along the flat trail pretty issue-free, until about mile 9, where I started to feel like I was getting over it, and I felt a little fatigue set in, and really had to push through for the next mile or so until I got back into the right headspace.
I finished, a few minutes later at about 2:03. Not a poor showing for the first race in a long time!
Here are some of the girls I met up with! I work with them all at Fleet Feet.
So my assessment of Tobacco Road was that it was awesome. The course was flat, weather was beautiful, and I would honestly not change anything about it. I would do the race again to see if I could improve my time (which I’m hoping to do with some speed work), and if I had some friends doing it with me again.
What did you do to enjoy the gorgeous weather this weekend?
I ran a half marathon and kissed on my hubby a lot 🙂
Want to hear something that really made me laugh hard yesterday?
This is so so rude, but I was at home sort of in the middle of the day because I’m on duty Thursday nights, and I was sending some emails and such, and listening to E! in the background, when I realized that they were playing all the episodes of KUWTK involving Kris Humphries in Bora Bora. Now the reason why this is so good and so rude is because clearly, Kim is no longer married to Kris (they only made it 72 days, which Austin and I celebrated as our “Kardashian Anniversary”), and Kimmy was the biggest asshole she’s ever been during the Kris era.
Now this particular scenario was really exquisite because Kris tosses Kim into the ocean…
Causing her head to slam against the ocean’s surface and her to lose her $75k diamond earrings. Instead of being a logical human, Kim begins to whimper, then cry, as she runs to and fro on the dock. When she tells Kourtney whats happening, Kourtney responds by telling her…
It must also be noted that the earrings were insured, so the tears were just extra.
The Kris era also ushered in this gem.
Now, I won’t bore you all day with the wonderful things that KUWTK has brought to my life, but suffice it to say, that I was entertained for a full at least 5 minutes.
I haven’t talked about it much here because of my fear of looking like a complete idiot, but I’m racing for the first time in a while on and it scares the piss out of me. Here are my thoughts before a half marathon.
Water?I should hydrate. Yes, hydrate. Water. Now. Water, some tea, some seltzer, more water.
Speaking of water, I should prep my water plan for tomorrow. Where’s my hydration backpack?
I’m not sure what they’re gonna have on the course, let me make sure that I pack some gels. But gel makes my stomach hurt. Maybe I should ask the chicks at Fleet Feet when I work what I should do.
What shoes am I going to wear? I don’t think the Glycerin is doing it for me anymore.
What do I eat for dinner with only a smidgen of fiber so I don’t poo my pants tomorrow.
Speaking of pants, what am I going to wear? I should lay that out.
Do I have any Coke around for after the race? Shit. Shit.
Also, what am I going to eat for breakfast tomorrow?
And then, I commence to not sleeping, or sleeping fitfully all night whilst dreaming that I’ve overslept and missed my race.
How was your weekend? What do you worry about before a big race/event?